On your journey as an artist, have you experienced a season where you wanted to expand your painting skills? What helped you in that season? What would you suggest to others who are in that season right now? My guest, Claudia Rilling was kind enough to open up about this topic as it relates to her own career as an artist. In our conversation, we also touch on Claudia’s search for direction, her time studying under Israel Hershberg, the technical details of her time in the studio, what attracts her to a subject, and much more. I can’t wait for you to hear some of the powerful insights that Claudia has to share.
Searching for direction.
As an artist, you are most likely very familiar with the sense of searching for direction in your artwork and in your career in general. What has helped you on your journey? Were you better off finding your path on your own or did it help to be connected to an art community? In my conversation with Claudia Rilling, she shares aspects of her journey and how she struggled and then eventually found her voice and direction as an artist. Specifically, Claudia points to a season of life in her twenties where she struggled with mark making. Before long, Claudia ended up going to grad school where she would continue to wrestle with and then hone her voice and approach as an artist.
Honing and expanding your painting skills.
What does it take for an artist to get to the point where they finally feel comfortable with their painting skills? Is that even possible or does the artist have to come to terms with a lifelong struggle in this area? Artist Claudia Rilling explains that in her experience, expanding and honing your painting skills is something that most artists continue to work on throughout their career. Having said that, there comes a point where an experienced artist feels more comfortable with their skill sets and abilities. I hope artists like you get as much out of the technical aspects of my conversation with Claudia as I did! Also, don’t forget to check out images of Claudia’s work located at the end of this post.
The drawbacks of viewing art digitally.
One of the questions I like to put to experienced artists like Claudia Rilling is finding out what they see in the painting world as it sits in today’s landscape. As usual, I was intrigued by Claudia’s response. In her opinion, due to the numerous closures of art galleries and the increased proliferation of art being viewed online, we’ve lost an important feature in the art world. While many artists are becoming more technologically and digitally astute, Claudia maintains that the move to a digital and virtual experience with art is not necessarily a good thing. What do you think of Claudia’s take? Do you agree? Do you view the digital movement as a positive step or a negative one?
How to tell when a painting is finished.
A question many artists struggle to answer is; when is a painting “Finished?” Do you still struggle with this question? What strategies or methods have you used to help you conclude your paintings? While there is no perfect answer, my guest, Claudia Rilling was kind enough to share her thoughts on this important step in creating artwork. In Claudia’s experience, it all comes down to getting the input of fellow artists. She quips with a great expression, “How many artists does it take to make a painting? Two! One to paint and the other to tell them when to stop.” Are you the type of artist who has the confidence to stop on your own or have you found it helpful to get the opinion of fellow artists?
Outline of This Episode
- [1:00] I introduce my guest, Claudia Rilling.
- [2:40] How Claudia got started painting.
- [4:00] Artists that inspired Claudia early on.
- [9:00] How Claudia describes her work.
- [12:00] What was Claudia’s post-undergrad career like?
- [15:00] Claudia talks about lessons learned in grad school.
- [20:00] How Claudia chooses her subjects.
- [22:00] What does Claudia do when she approaches the canvas?
- [28:30] An update on Claudia’s process and why she changed it over time.
- [30:00] Claudia talks about different adhesives she’s used.
- [32:30] How do you know when a painting is finished?
- [36:00] What is Claudia currently working on?
- [42:00] The drawbacks of galleries closing down and view art digitally.
- [44:00] What Claudia wishes she would have known as an inexperienced artist.
- [47:00] Overcoming challenges along the way.
Other artists mentioned on this episode
- Euan Uglow
- Myron Barnstone
- Anne Gale
- Israel Hershberg
- JSS in Civita
- Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
- Giorgio Morandi
- Edgar Degas
- Mark Tennant
- Édouard Manet
- Jon Redmond